With a list of the right keywords for your campaign, you can show your ads to customers that are looking for specific products or services. Your keywords should be words that your potential customers would use to find your products or services.

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Basic principles: choice and organization of your keywords

1. Put yourself in the customers’ shoes when you create your list.

List the main categories of your business and the most important terms or expressions that likely users will search for. Include words or phrases that your customers use to describe your products or services.


If you sell athletic footwear for men, you can start with basic categories that be used by your customers, as athletic shoes for men. You can also add sneakers for men or tennis shoes for men, if it turns out that these terms are often used to describe your products. Continue to expand your list to include the name of your brand and your products.

2. Depending on your goal, choose keywords that are more generic or more specific.

To maximize your ROI, select specific keywords directly related to the theme of your ad. When using more specific keywords, your ad is only showed when the users focus on terms related to your business. However, remember that if your keywords are too specific, you may not reach as many users as you want.

If you want your ad to show to the largest possible number of users, choose generic keywords. Note that in most cases, adding very generic keywords makes it difficult to reach potential customers. In fact, your ad may be shown on searches that are not always connected with your business. In addition, more generic keywords may be more competitive and lead to higher bids.

We recommend that you test more and less specific keywords to decide which generate the best results. Whatever the degree of generality or specificity of your keywords, they should always correspond as closely as possible to your ads and your website. Note that AdWords only distribute one ad per advertiser for a particular keyword. It is therefore advisable to avoid including the same keyword multiple times in your account.


If you sell athletic footwear for men, you can choose specific keywords such as running shoes for men , since you sell this type of footwear. Your ad may thus be shown when someone searches this kind of shoe.

If you have a large shoe store, you can choose a generic keyword such as buy shoes. Your ad is eligible to appear and when users search for different types of shoes.

3. Consolidate similar keywords by theme.

If you consolidate all your keywords and ads in the same ad group, your ad for tennis shoes for men is likely to be shown when a person is looking for evening shoes for women. To provide more relevant ads to your potential customers, try to group your keywords by ad groups, according to your products, your services or other categories. In addition, by consolidating your keywords by subject, your account is still perfectly structured.


Say you’re the owner of a shoe store. You can create two ad groups: one for running shoes and one for evening shoes. The first ad group can include keywords like running shoes and running shoes, as well as customized ads targeted to users who are looking for running shoes. The second ad group can include keywords like evening shoes and dress shoes, and customized ads targeted to users who are looking for evening shoes. For example, when potential customers do a search on any of the keywords of this ad group (stylish shoes for example), AdWords will show them your ad for evening shoes.

4. Pick the right number of keywords.

Most advertisers find it useful to have between 5 and 10 keywords per ad group, but you can go beyond that. However, make sure that the keywords in each ad group are directly related to the theme of the group. Note that keywords that consist of two to three terms (expression) generally provide better results.


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